2 Kings 14:8
Then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash, the son of Jehoahaz son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, Come, let us look one another in the face.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8) Then.—After the reduction of Edom. The more extended narrative which follows is plainly taken from a different source than that of the brief extract preceding it.

Come, let us look one another in the face.—A challenge to battle, the ground of which might be found in the outrages committed by the Israelite mercenaries on their homeward march. It appears likely, however, that Amaziah, intoxicated by his recent success, aimed at nothing less than the recovery of the Ten Tribes for the house of David. So Josephus (Antt. ix. 9, § 2), who gives what purport to be the letters which passed between the two kings on this occasion.

2 Kings 14:8. Let us look one another in the face — Let us try our valour and strength in battle. Being flushed with his late great victory over the Edomites, and incensed by the injury which the dismissed, disgusted Israelites had lately done to his country in their return, (2 Chronicles 25:13,) he sent this challenge to the king of Israel. Perhaps he had the vanity to think he could subdue his kingdom, and reunite it to Judah. Had he challenged him merely to a personal duel, the error had remained with himself: but each of them must bring all his forces into the field, and thousands of lives must be sacrificed on both sides to his capricious humour! Hereby he showed himself proud, presumptuous, and prodigal of blood. They that challenge are chargeable with that beginning of strife which is as the letting out of water. And they that are fond either of fighting or going to law, may perhaps have enough of it quickly, and will probably be the first that repent it.14:8-14 For some time after the division of the kingdoms, Judah suffered much from the enmity of Israel. After Asa's time, it suffered more by the friendship of Israel, and by the alliance made with them. Now we meet with hostility between them again. How may a humble man smile to hear two proud and scornful men set their wits on work, to vilify and undervalue one another! Unholy success excites pride; pride excites contentions. The effects of pride in others, are insufferable to those who are proud themselves. These are the sources of trouble and sin in private life; but when they arise between princes, they become the misery of their whole kingdoms. Jehoash shows Amaziah the folly of his challenge; Thine heart has lifted thee up. The root of all sin is in the heart, thence it flows. It is not Providence, the event, the occasion, whatever it is, that makes men proud, secure, discontented, or the like, but their own hearts do it.Amaziah's success against Edom had so elated him that he thought himself more than a match for his northern neighbor. The grounds of the quarrel between them were furnished by the conduct of the hired, but dismissed, Israelite soldiers (see the marginal reference).

Let us look one another in the face - i. e. "let us meet face to face in arms, and try each other's strength" 2 Kings 14:11-12.

2Ki 14:8-16. Joash Defeats Him.

8. Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash, the son of Jehoahaz, son of Jehu, king of Israel—This bold and haughty challenge, which was most probably stimulated by a desire of satisfaction for the outrages perpetrated by the discharged auxiliaries of Israel (2Ch 25:13) on the towns that lay in their way home, as well as by revenge for the massacre of his ancestors by Jehu (2Ki 9:1-37) sprang, there is little doubt, from pride and self-confidence, inspired by his victory over the Edomites.

Let us fight personally, and with our armies. This challenge he sent, partly upon the late and great injuries done by the Israelites to his people, 2 Chronicles 25:10,13, and partly from self-confidence, and a desire of advancing his glory and empire by his arms. Then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz the son of Jehu king of Israel,.... The occasion of it was this, when Amaziah dismissed the hired soldiers of Israel they were displeased, and fell upon the cities of Judea from Samaria to Bethhoron, slew 3000 men, and took much spoil, 2 Chronicles 25:13, wherefore, when Amaziah returned from the slaughter of the Edomites, being elated with his victories, he sent the following message to the king of Israel, in order to revenge the injuries his soldiers had done; and perhaps retaining an old grudge for what Jehu, the grandfather of the king of Israel, had done to his ancestors, and it may be in hope of reducing the ten tribes to obedience to the house of David:

saying, come, let us look one another in the face; that is, in battle, as the Targum adds; it was a challenge to meet him in the field of battle, and fight with him, and try each other's courage, and see who was the best man.

Then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash, the son of Jehoahaz son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, Come, {d} let us look one another in the face.

(d) Let us fight hand to hand, and try it by battle, and not destroy one another's cities.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
8–16. Amaziah’s challenge to Joash king of Israel. Answer of Joash. Defeat of Amaziah. Death of Joash (2 Chronicles 25:17-24)

8. Then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash] The Chronicler gives a history anterior to the challenge of Amaziah, which explains why the king who had been divinely guided before the Edomite expedition was left without the like guidance afterwards. We are told that Amaziah brought back from Edom the gods of the children of Seir and set them up to be his gods, and when a prophet was sent to rebuke him, he threatened the messenger of God with punishment. Upon this the prophet forbare, but left the king with the words, ‘I know that God hath determined to destroy thee, because thou hast done this and hast not hearkened unto my counsel’. The Chronicler also says that before his challenge ‘Amaziah king of judah took advice’, which forces one to think of the counsellors whom Rehoboam listened to at the time of his accession, and by following whom he brought about the revolt of the ten tribes. It may be that the conduct of the Israelitish soldiers whom Amaziah had sent home (see note on verse 7) incited the king of Judah to take some revenge on Israel. In 2 Chronicles (2 Kings 25:13) we read that these men ‘fell upon the cities of Judah, from Samaria even unto Beth-horon, and smote three thousand of them and took much spoil’. The ‘three thousand’ of course means ‘of the inhabitants’. If this attack occurred while Amaziah was on his expedition against Edom, we can better understand his action.

Come, let us look one another in the face] A figurative expression equivalent to ‘Let us measure swords’, let us test each other’s power. It was under all circumstances rash for the smaller power, the king of two tribes, to challenge the king of ten. Moreover if Amaziah had been victorious over Edom, Jehoash had repulsed the Syrians and recovered those portions of the land which had been lost in the time of Jehoahaz.Verse 8. - Then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash, the son of Jehoahaz son of Jehu, King of Israel, saying. Amaziah had a cause of complaint against Jehoash, or at any rate against his subjects, which does not appear in the narrative of Kings. The author of Chronicles tells us that, when Amaziah dismissed his Israelite mercenaries, they were offended, and vented their anger by an inroad into his territories (2 Chronicles 25:13), where they killed three thousand men and "took much spoil." This was a clear casus belli, if Amaziah chose to consider it such. Come, let us look one another in the face. A rude message, if it was actually couched in these terms. But perhaps the writer substitutes the gist of the message for the language in which it was wrapped up. Josephus says that Amaziah wrote a letter to Joash, and required him to submit himself and people to the authority of the Jewish state, and thus restore the state of things which had existed under David and Solomon. Otherwise the sword must decide between them ('Ant. Jud.,' 9:9. § 2). Whatever its terms, pride and self-confidence, the result of his success against Edom, were at the root of the challenge. Amaziah reigned twenty-nine years in the same theocratical spirit as his father Joash, only not like his ancestor David, i.e., according to the correct explanation in 2 Chronicles 25:2, not with שׁלם לבב (see at 1 Kings 11:4), since Amaziah, like his father Joash (see at 2 Kings 12:3), fell into idolatry in the closing years of his reign (cf. 2 Chronicles 25:14.). - Only the high places were not taken away, etc.
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